My personal theory of learning aligns with a cognitivist perspective in my art room setting. Jean Piaget believed in the concept that a child “continually modifies their cognitive structures, and thus knowledge is continually under construction” (Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J. 2008). Because visual art is an area where children are constantly exploring and creating, it is my strong viewpoint that I am repeatedly engaging them in new activities that they are reflecting upon. As an artist myself, I witness the interaction that takes place when students are introduced to a new medium and the process they go through in manipulating it. Piaget broke his theory down even further by explaining that children…
build cognitive structures during all developmental stages. When children are exposed to something new that easily fits into prior experiences, the assimilate it.
However, when children encounter new knowledge for which they do not have a previous concept map, they accommodate it. (Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J. 2008)
No matter where my children are in the learning process, and how they are processing the information at hand, I can reach them even further through the use of technology. Technology lends itself once again to the process of either being introductory to a student and reeling him or her in, or sparking a previous experience with a learner and capitalizing on what he or she already knows. For many 21st century learners like my children, technology can do just that. For example when we cannot physically go and see an actual piece of art, we can overcome this obstacle by taking a virtual tour using the internet and a projector. When we are studying a specific artist, we can step inside his studio through a YouTube video that shows how he creates what we he creates. We could also use technology in an art room setting by using a Voice Thread to express our feelings about a famous piece of art, or one created by our very own classmate. This would be an amazing way to get students to participate in an actual art critique, using 21st century tools.
Understanding that my children learn and process information in different ways makes me cognoscente of how I am approaching my personal learning theory in my classroom. Two long term goals that I have for myself as a teacher is to develop a classroom blog that would act as a three way communication source between myself, my students and the parents of my students. Another goal I have for furthering myself as a technologically savvy teacher is to connect my students with an outside source at least once a week in my classroom. By this I mean my intention is to not just teach art through physical visual aids in my classroom, but rather expand beyond our four walls into the cyberworld and make use of the many resources I have encountered. The more informed I am, the more sound my instruction will be, leading to a greater impact to my students in the realm of visual art.
Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J. (2008). Theoretical Foundations (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.